Editor’s Note: Aaron Williams is the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest. Despite being busy with things like the end of the second year of law school and taking the reins on the Digest, Aaron was kind enough to author a post about what sets his journal apart both functionally and culturally. We are very pleased to present the third in our series of letters about the rewards of working on a journal, and how interested students can get involved.
O Say Can U.C.C. ?
This year’s 1Ls are nearly next year’s 2Ls. By the time this is posted, the only hurdles left to clear will be a Criminal Law exam … and the writing competition. In theory, the competition is optional. In reality, it isn’t. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be.
I understand that the last thing you’re going to want to do mid-day on Friday is march on up to Stuart’s fifth floor and collect the competition packet, which will rival your Con Law casebook for thickness. But that’s exactly what you will do. Because you’re a law student and, thus, a masochist.
The reward for strong performance in the competition is journal membership. Joining a journal confers myriad benefits. You’ll develop your writing and editing skills. You’ll impress employers. You’ll eventually be able to hang a masthead on your office wall.
UCC Reporter-Digest membership, meanwhile, provides all of that and more. Our publication can be distinguished from BC Law’s traditional law journals in several important ways.
First, students do not write the typical notes and comments. Instead, 2L writers produce annotations of important commercial law case opinions. Relatedly, we do not edit the works of external scholars and academics. Yes, you can retire your Bluebooks.
Second, people are paying for these annotations. Lexis publishes them. Practitioners rely upon them to stay abreast of the latest developments in Uniform Commercial Code jurisprudence and other commercial law issues. As a result, we take great care and pride in the work we produce.
Third, our efforts are highly collaborative. 2Ls are assigned a new case and a 3L editor each week. Writers and editors exchange drafts a few times. Once an annotation is polished and seems perfect, it’s submitted for preliminary review. Doubtlessly, the reviewer will find imperfections. More edits. More drafts. More reviews. Close communication every step of the way.
This tried-and-true system produces three happy effects: 1) it’s guaranteed to sharpen your writing and analytical skills; 2) it results in the high-quality publication our readers expect; and 3) it fosters unparalleled camaraderie among our tight-knit group. Invariably, those bonds extend beyond journal commitments and spill outside of our so-called “Sky Lounge” atop Stuart Hall.
The (admittedly corny) title of this article was also the theme for this year’s “Digest Prom.” The “prom” was just one of many group events. We kicked off the year with tapas. We ventured to Gloucester for lunch. We celebrated the Digest’s 50th anniversary at the State Room. We sent our 3Ls off in style with a year-end banquet.
Our activities and their benefits reach past our collective self-interest. Each year, the Digest solicits donations from law firms and local businesses. Boxes upon boxes of trinkets and tchotchkes pour in. Digesters stuff them into “Exam Survival Kits” and distribute them to 1Ls before the start of the first battery of finals. In addition, the Digest sponsors and organizes various programs. This year, the Digest is a named sponsor of the 2nd Annual BC Law Alumni Golf Tournament.
Finally, the Digest enjoys the close involvement of our faculty advisor, Professor Ingrid Hillinger. None of this year’s 1Ls had the good fortune of landing in Prof. Hillinger’s Contracts class. However, you’ve probably heard her legend. She was recently named one of the 26 “best law teachers” in the country. A BC Law Magazine feature subsequently heralded her as “terrifying and tender.” Suffice it to say that she demands the very best every Digester has to offer, and she always gets it.
Class of 2017: It’s been a long year. You’re exhausted. So I’ll make this simple for you: 1) participate in the Writing Competition; 2) rank the Digest first on your preference sheet; and 3) prosper.
Aaron Williams is a rising 3L at Boston College Law School and the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest. This past academic year, he was a staffer for the Digest. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a message in the comments below.